The new rules of marketing dictate that advisors use tactics that demonstrate their expertise via article writing, blogging, social media, and the like. Advisors who are content to practice old, tired marketing tactics rather than innovative ways to bring in new clients will be left in the dust in a matter of time.
That’s why I often encourage my clients to practice inbound marketing, specifically article writing or blogging as a way to attract new clients. An advisor’s target market is no longer limited to a twenty mile radius of his/her main office, thanks to the internet. If you are producing quality content that speaks to the needs of a distinct target market, you can attract clients from all over the nation or even the globe by publishing your content on the internet.
Since most advisors don’t know where to start, I will be showing you my seven step formula for writing an article or blog post. An effective article can be from 500-800 words and sometimes much longer. There are many ways to write an article. This is just one to help you get started.
Step One: Decide Your Topic
The biggest mistake advisors make is trying to write about a topic that is too broad. Think about a specific issue or problem your target client would like to know more about. Think about where your passion is strongest. Where do you have expertise?
After you come up with a topic, do some keyword research. Let’s say your target market is women (a very broad market, but let’s keep it simple for this illustration). “Financial planning for women” receives 1000 searches per month (according to the google keyword tool). However, “financial planning basics” only receives 390 searches a month. By drilling down your article subject matter, you will naturally write a better quality article that will hold your readers’ interest.
Step Two: Create a Compelling Headline
The second biggest mistake advisors make is to use a bland headline. The trick is to encourage readers to click on the article. The title needs to pull them in. Read your article headline aloud and then ask yourself “so what?” – If your title answers “so what” then you may have something good.
Let’s review the example from above “financial planning basics for women” and agree that it is not compelling. How about “3 Financial Planning Basics Women Should Not Avoid“? Does this do a better job of encouraging the reader to click on your article?
One of my most popular article titles years ago contained the phrase “So That You Can Sleep Soundly at Night” and garnered a ton of attention. Why? Because the implication of less stress and better sleep encouraged a great deal of interest.
Step Three: Write the Introduction
This is where you start writing! Tell them what you’re going to tell them. In this case you have three points to discuss. Tell them the issues. Illustrate your expertise. Just start writing. Try not to get wrapped up in making it perfect.
Step Four: Write Three Paragraphs
Now, write a paragraph (or more) about each point. Explain each of the three issues from your introduction. Give examples. Get personal. Make it interesting. What specific problems or issues have you seen in the past? How can the problem be solved?
Step Five: Wrap it up
For toastmaster members this will sound familiar. At the end of your article, tell them what you told them. Then tell them what to do about it. You could give them some resources. You could end with a quote. Just make sure you wrap it up nicely.
Step Six: Call to Action
Now here’s the part that most advisors skip. You want to have a call to action to encourage readers to contact you. This could be in the form of “I don’t want to see this happen to you.” It could be “I invite you to contact me.” You want to inspire readers to action. Motivate them. Show them why staying in their current situation should not be tolerated.
Step Seven: About the Author
Up to this point the information in your article has been your “give.” You should have done a great job of educating the reader and providing value. The about the author section however is your “take.” This is where you can provide a mini bio (25 to 75 words) about you demonstrating your expertise and why the reader should visit your website or contact you. This section works well immediately following the call to action.
There you have it – my seven step formula for writing an article. This is such a great opportunity for advisors to market their unique value because so few advisors are doing it! Many tell me they don’t want to hassle with compliance. In my opinion, compliance is just one more step. Don’t let compliance stop you from writing blogs or articles! Just do it!
To learn more about the benefits of Inbound Marketing and growing your firm request a consultation.